Sociological Journal #1
We define culture by values, norms, symbols, and material goods which are part of our society. They all characterize and differentiate form other groups in our society. Some values in the American culture are independence and individualism. Independence ties to religion and how everyone gets to choose what their beliefs about god and worship are. Individualism allows everyone to be unique and express themselves. Values help shape our society for example is it demonstrates the good and the bad. Norms are usually influenced by values. Some norms in the American society today are behavior and traffic laws. Behavior for example our table manners we should act a certain way when we sit down to have dinner also how we interact with others in our everyday lives and when we meet someone for the first time the most common thing to do in the United Sates is shake their hand. When talking to someone for example we have direct eye contact it shows that your listening. Another example traffic laws are rules we must follow they are to protect society. Laws enforce norms and try to change them as well. Also, how men and women are expected to behave in society or in certain situations.
Symbols play a big part in the American culture. One of the main symbols is the U.S. flag with the colors red, white, and blue which are symbols of freedom and democracy. Some other symbols are the statue of liberty, the bald eagle our national bird, the national anthem, and the cross which is a symbol of the Christian faith. A gesture is also a symbol like a thumbs up means okay or good. The most important symbol in all cultures is language it allows us to express our ideas and communicate with others. For example, in America the English language is most spoken. Societies often share one language. Speaking and writing will vary depending on culture. Street signs are also symbols like a stop sign or traffic lights. The alphabet is a symbol as well when we write. Material goods are the physical objects or things people use to define their culture. An example is technology we use every day our phones and laptops also the clothes we wear everyone dresses differently we all have our own style. Also, transportation like a vehicle or bus which allow us to get from one place to another and food is an example to. Material goods symbolizes our cultural ideas. Non-material goods connect with the values, norms, and symbols. Like our ideas and beliefs about society.
These are the values, norms, symbols, and material goods that define the American culture. These are key elements of the U.S. culture because it shapes society’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Things are always changing for example clothing styles so I think that values, norms, symbols, and material goods could change over time. I also think that some will not change because only some things have changed throughout the years.
Sociological Journal #1